Well I suppose it’s bound to happen....
Anyway I live in a county that officially has banned fireworks being set off by civilians because it’s very dry and hot here and because of shit like this. Of course that’s not going to prevent the neighbors from buying them and setting them off and hey I’m all for a free fireworks show that’s within a short walking distance of my front porch.
The cluster of homes up the hill a ways is usually reliable for a good fireworks show, particularly along one of the streets where everybody gets together and forms a fireworks block party of sorts. So I just walk up and stand around the sidewalk away from the groups of lawn chairs and watch the bottle rockets and the kids twirling sparklers around like glow sticks (that shit’s safe right?) and then all of a sudden I see a weird pattern from the sparkler bomb down the street. I walk over to take a closer look and oh hey someone set some shit on fire.
I couldn’t tell what it was, it looked like some box or some framework or something (maybe a lawn chair caught on fire) and from what I could tell there were just a bunch of kids and a few adults just standing around, walking up to it and running away like it was a rabid dog or something. Nobody was in a hurry to break out a fire extinguisher or even a freakin’ water hose, everybody just started acting like a cartoon character clueless of how to handle this burny-thingy they never seen before and wondering what would happen if they touch it. I wait a little bit to see if anybody would stop being a moron and I decide, ok, maybe it’s time I look up the non-emergency number of the fire department.
I break out my phone and start looking up the local fire district and then this thing starts asking “can I help you?” and other stuff you might expect from someone who has misinterpreted Paul Blart: Mall Cop as being a serious heroic documentary. I tell her “no” and she says “what are you doing?” And I tell her “uh, I’m calling the fire department because there’s a fire down the street.” And she says “you don’t need to do that,” to which I respond, “yes I do, because there is a fire down the street.” Then she tells me that there’s no need to disrupt everybody (uh ok) and that she’s a sheriff (probably BS) and that everybody here is ex-military (1. ok um so? 2. probably more BS) and that everything is under control (then why is everyone acting either like a gape-mouthed moron or a goddamn cartoon character with the only people even bothering to try to make anything resembling an effort to put the fire out freakin’ children?) She then tells me that I need to leave or that she’ll call the cops and have me escorted away (from a public sidewalk, on a public street, from my own neighborhood, in a county that highly frowns upon the ownership of pyrotechnic fireworks so good job on narcing on yourself there genius). She demands to know “who I am” and where I live (especially in this type of situation the only person who would even ask that is 1.) on a serious power trip, and a moron or 2.) wanting to seriously fuck with you, and a moron) so I tell her that my name is Rusty Shackleford and that I live on this block. She keeps insisting that I leave and that she’ll call the cops to escort me away, to which I respond, have at it! I’m on a public sidewalk, what the fuck are they going to do! She keeps reiterating that she’s a sheriff and other ooooh big scary spooky I’m-the-law stuff, so I ask her, fine, if that’s the case I demand to see both an ID and a business card.
Here’s a little fun fact: most LEO’s (law enforcement officers) will have individual business cards just like anybody else, and while they’re not obligated to give them out most of them will freely do so even if you and him/her aren’t exactly on the same side of the law at the time (especially if it’s just a minor violation). Or at least a freakin’ ID so I can at least know she’s legitimately a sheriff (harassing a random person off-duty, in a city outside of her jurisdiction, a city that really doesn’t like it when non-professional setups start shooting fireworks) and not what I think is her most likely profession, checkout clerk at the local Safeway. Besides if I really wanted to ruin her parade instead of calling the fire department down to put out the fire I could call up her department and say hey, did you know one of your sheriffs likes shooting off fireworks during a fire ban and setting shit on fire? She says she doesn’t have business cards (another clue this is BS) but she has an ID proving she’s a sheriff. Ok, show me. She says “I’m going to get my ID” and...then she rejoins her friends and starts shooting the shit about this guy who’s from one of the neighboring houses causing trouble. At this point I’m starting to massively lose care about the still-ranging mini-inferno down the street and as the fireworks show has ended in favor of performance art as slack-jawed idiots it’s pretty clear whether or not she wants me to leave that badly I’m wasting my time here regardless.
So yeah, morons setting shit on fire and middle-aged women with a baby strapped to their chest bragging about being a sheriff while committing fire-able actions. Ok.